ORNL licenses award-winning AI platform to General Motors

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has licensed MENNDL, its award-winning artificial intelligence software system to General Motors for use in vehicle technology and design.

Officially known as the “Multinode Evolutionary Neural Networks for Deep Learning, MENNDL was a 2018 finalist for the Association for Computing Machinery’s “Gordon Bell Prize” and a 2018 winner in the “R&D 100 Awards.” The technology uses an evolutionary algorithm that not only creates deep learning networks to solve problems but also evolves network design on the fly. By automatically combining and testing millions of parent networks, it breeds high-performing optimized neural networks.

According to this news release from ORNL, General Motors will assess MENNDL’s potential to accelerate advanced driver assistance systems technology and design. This is the first commercial license for MENNDL as well as the first AI technology to be commercially licensed from ORNL.

“MENNDL leverages compute power to explore all the different design parameters that are available to you, fully automated, and then comes back and says, ‘Here’s a list of all the network designs that I tried. Here are the results – the good ones, the bad ones.’ And now, in a matter of hours instead of months or years, you have a full set of network designs for a particular application,” said Robert Patton, Head of ORNL’s Learning Systems Group and leader of the MENNDL development team.

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